Although Germany does not have the lowest cost of living, many choose the country because it is relatively cheaper than other destinations while providing a good quality of life and free education.
To make the comparison easier for you, we, together with DeGiS, Germany’s largest network for international students, sent out a survey to international students to ask about their living expenses. In the first year of residence in Germany, international students mainly live off of the money they spared before arriving in Germany. This money, which should be transferred to a blocked account (Sperrkonto), is often required to get a study visa. Once they arrive in Germany, the money in the account gets released monthly to the owner's current bank account. Currently, the German government has set the monthly living cost to €861.
We asked the students if €853 (the amount at the time of the survey) is enough to cover their living expenses in Germany. 89% of them had positive responses while the rest said it is not enough. Most of those who indicated that it is not sufficient live in Munich. Overall, the survey results show that those staying in Munich have a higher cost of living compared to those in other cities.
Overall, most students fall within two brackets; those who spend between €500 and €700 per month, and those who spend between €700 and €1000. Even with that, Germany still appears to be more affordable because of the low or no tuition fees of universities. Have a look at a comparison of the costs of living for other European countries versus Germany.
Searching for the right accommodation is one of the main hurdles of living abroad. Over half of the students indicated that they spend between €300 and €500 on rent every month while 36% spend less than €300. The most common accommodation types that the respondents stay in are flat shares (Wohngemeinschaft - WG), student dormitories, and student apartments. Further comparisons have been made between cities and accommodation types in the full report.
If you’re curious about how much you’d spend in groceries in Germany, you can check a few websites like Numbeo. Our survey results show that 44% of the respondents spend between €150 and €300 on groceries per month while 41% spend less than €150. Although grocery expenses offer some freedom to decide how much you should spend on them, the survey results further revealed that the average costs of groceries are similar in most German cities.
Overall, it may be said that the low to no tuition fees in Germany causes less financial strain on those wishing to study in Germany.
Click here to view our full insights report about Relocating to and Living in Germany.